Genre: General Fiction

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic

#BookReview Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #CatchtheRabbit #LanaBastasic Title: Catch the Rabbit

Author: Lana Bastašić

Published by: Picador on May 27, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7.5/10

A moving story about loss, forgetting and female friendship: two women on a road trip across Bosnia head towards a lost brother and a collision with the lies they’ve told themselves about where they’re from.

Sara hasn’t seen or heard from Lejla in years. She’s comfortable with her life in Dublin, with her partner, their avocado plant, and their naturist neighbour. But when Lejla calls and demands she come home to Bosnia, Sara finds that she can’t say no.

What begins as a road trip becomes a journey through the past, as the two women set off to find Armin, Lejla’s brother who disappeared towards the end of the Bosnian War. Presumed dead by everyone else, only Lejla and Sara believed Armin was still alive.

Confronted with the limits of memory, Sara is forced to reconsider the things she thought she understood as a girl: the best friend she loved, the first experiences they shared, but also the social and religious lines that separated them, that brought them such different lives.

In Catch the Rabbit, Lana Bastašic tells the story of how we place the ones we love on pedestals, and then wait for them to fall off, how loss marks us indelibly, and how the traumas of war echo down the years.


Review:

Frank, pensive, and melancholic!

Catch the Rabbit is a dark, gritty, nostalgic novel that takes us into the life of Sara, a young woman who is more than content with her current life in Dublin and how she’s managed to reinvent herself after growing up in Bosnia during the 1990s, until her childhood best friend, Lejla contacts her out of the blue after more than a decade to ask her to drive from Mostar to Vienna in order to find her brother who has been missing for more than twenty years, and whose disappearance has had a lasting impact on both of their lives.

The prose is perceptive and expressive. The characters are scarred, multilayered, and self-absorbed. And the plot, using a past-present style, is a reflective tale about life, loss, tragedy, family, friendship, coming-of-age, shared experiences, differing perspectives, and elusive memories, all interwoven with an undercurrent of the ongoing dread and tension experienced by those who must live and grow up in war zones.

Overall, Catch the Rabbit is a poignant, weighty, toxic tale by Bastašić that delves into all the messiness of life and highlights all the enduring psychological and emotional ties that exist between friends.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lana Bastašić

Lana Bastašic is a Yugoslavborn writer. She has published two collections of short stories and one of poetry. Catch the Rabbit, her debut novel, was published in 2018 in Belgrade and was shortlisted for the NIN Award. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies and have won numerous awards throughout former Yugoslavia. She lives and works in Barcelona.

#BookReview The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheNewcomer #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress

#BookReview The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews @mkayandrews @StMartinsPress #TheNewcomer #MaryKayAndrews #StMartinsPress Title: The Newcomer

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Published by: St. Martin's Press on May 4, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: St. Martin's Press

Book Rating: 8/10

In trouble and on the run…

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me–it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage…

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring–but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling…

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn–or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.


Review:

Heartwarming, mysterious, and colourful!

The Newcomer is an offbeat, intriguing tale that takes us into the life of thirty-three-year-old Letty Carnahan, who after discovering her sister Tanya’s murdered body and a magazine clipping featuring the Murmuring Surf Motel, flees with her four-year-old niece from NY to the west coast of Florida, where unbeknownst to her Tanya’s past unsavoury friendships, secrets, behaviour, and acquaintances will finally come to light.

The prose is amusing and light. The characters are multilayered, quirky, and endearing. And the plot is an engaging tale of familial drama, loss, grief, deception, theft, murder, kindness, suspicious personalities, taking chances, community, happiness, and love.

Overall, The Newcomer is a humorous, action-packed, entertaining tale by Andrews, and even though it’s not my favourite novel by this author, I still think it’s a satisfying, enjoyable pick for any summer day you’re planning to spend at the beach.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

 

           

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.

Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

#BookReview Haven Point by Virginia Hume @virginiahume @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress #HavenPoint #VirginiaHume

#BookReview Haven Point by Virginia Hume @virginiahume @RaincoastBooks @StMartinsPress #HavenPoint #VirginiaHume Title: Haven Point

Author: Virginia Hume

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Jun. 8, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A sweeping debut novel about the generations of a family that spends summers in a seaside enclave on Maine’s rocky coastline, for fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Beatriz Williams, and Sarah Blake.

1944: Maren Larsen is a blonde beauty from a small Minnesota farming town, determined to do her part to help the war effort––and to see the world beyond her family’s cornfields. As a cadet nurse at Walter Reed Medical Center, she’s swept off her feet by Dr. Oliver Demarest, a handsome Boston Brahmin whose family spends summers in an insular community on the rocky coast of Maine.

1970: As the nation grapples with the ongoing conflict in Vietnam, Oliver and Maren are grappling with their fiercely independent seventeen-year-old daughter, Annie, who has fallen for a young man they don’t approve of. Before the summer is over a terrible tragedy will strike the Demarests––and in the aftermath, Annie vows never to return to Haven Point.

2008: Annie’s daughter, Skye, has arrived in Maine to help scatter her mother’s ashes. Maren knows that her granddaughter inherited Annie’s view of Haven Point: despite the wild beauty and quaint customs, the regattas and clambakes and sing-alongs, she finds the place––and the people––snobbish and petty. But Maren also knows that Annie never told Skye the whole truth about what happened during that fateful summer.

Over seven decades of a changing America, through wars and storms, betrayals and reconciliations, Virginia Hume’s Haven Point explores what it means to belong to a place, and to a family, which holds as tightly to its traditions as it does its secrets.


Review:

Tragic, nuanced, and moving!

Haven Point is a heartfelt, alluring story that immerses you into the lives of the Larsen family, especially three women, and all the secrets, smiles, tears, wounds, compassion, misery, and strength that has surrounded them through the years.

The prose is fluid and expressive. The characters are wounded, stubborn, and secretive. And the plot is a tender tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, hope, romance, and the unbreakable ties that bind us as family.

Overall, Haven Point is an immersive, compelling, multi-generational family saga by Hume that reminds us that life is a combination of all the complicated, messy, challenging, heartbreaking moments, as well as all the wonderful, special, lovely times that happen in-between.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Virginia Hume

Virginia Hume is a freelance writer and editor. Her early career was spent in politics and public affairs. She lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband, their daughters, and an under-groomed bichon named Chester.

Photo by David Baratz.

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand

#BookReview Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand @elinhilderbrand @littlebrown @HBGCanada #GoldenGirl #ElinHilderbrand Title: Golden Girl

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Published by: Little Brown and Company on Jun. 1, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback

Source: HBG Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.


Review:

Thought-provoking, sentimental, and a touch mysterious!

Golden Girl is a heartfelt, compelling tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Nantucket Island and into the life of novelist Vivian Howe, a mother of three, who after being killed in a hit-and-run accident is given one last summer to watch over those she loves and granted three small nudges to alter events on earth before she must finally accept her fate and pass over to the other side.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are complex, authentic, and troubled. And the plot is an irresistible, touching tale of relationship dynamics, familial drama, life, loss, acceptance, moral dilemmas, secrets, forgiveness, friendship, and the intricacies of small-island living.

Overall, Golden Girl is another absorbing, nostalgic, poignant tale by Hilderbrand that does a beautiful job of reminding us that to be human is to be flawed, and everyone should love and deserves to be loved for who they are, flaws and all.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to HBG Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is a mother of three, an avid runner, reader, and traveler, and the author of twenty-three novels. She grew up outside Philadelphia, and has lived on Nantucket for more than twenty years.

#BookReview The Mysteries by Marisa Silver @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #TheMysteries #MarisaSilver

#BookReview The Mysteries by Marisa Silver @RaincoastBooks @BloomsburyPub #TheMysteries #MarisaSilver Title: The Mysteries

Author: Marisa Silver

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing on May 4, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 256

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Raincoast Books

Book Rating: 8/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mary Coin, a masterful, intimate story of two young girls, joined in an unlikely friendship, whose lives are shattered in a single, unthinkable moment.

Miggy Brenneman is a wild and reckless seven-year-old with a fierce imagination, hellbent on pushing against the limits of childhood. Ellen is polite, cautious, and drawn to her friend’s bright flame. While the adults around them adjust to unstable times and fractured relationships, the girls respond with increasingly dangerous play. When tragedy strikes, all the novel’s characters grapple with questions of fate and individual responsibility, none more so than Miggy, who must make sense of a swiftly disappearing past and a radically transformed future.

Written with searing clarity and surpassing tenderness, The Mysteries limns the painful ambiguities of adulthood and the intense perceptions of an indelibly drawn child to offer a profound exploration of how all of us, at every stage, must reckon with life’s abundant and unsolvable mysteries.


Review:

Emotive, sobering, and nostalgic!

The Mysteries is a pensive, tragic novel that takes you back to 1973 and into the lives of two families, specifically two seven-year-old friends, Miggy and Ellen, whose worlds will be irrevocably changed and shattered one summer day when a fatal accident leaves one family devastated by loss and the other overwhelmingly consumed with guilt.

The prose is clear and precise. The characters are genuine, lonely, and flawed. And the plot is a simmering, emotional tale of life, loss, heartache, depression, grief, guilt, friendship, family, acceptance, introspection, and forgiveness.

Overall, The Mysteries is an intense, touching, compelling tale by Silver that does a lovely job of reminding us to savour every moment because life can often change in a heartbeat.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Marisa Silver

Marisa Silver is the author of The Mysteries (2021), Little Nothing (2016), a New York Times Editor's Choice, and winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Fiction, Mary Coin (2013), a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the Southern California Independent Bookseller's Award, and an NPR and BBC Best Book of the Year, Alone With You (2010), The God of War (2008), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, No Direction Home (2005), and Babe in Paradise (2001), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. Her short fiction has won the O. Henry Prize and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic.com and many other publications, and has been included in The Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize Stories, as well as other anthologies.

In 2018, Silver was awarded the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. In 2017, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for the Creative Arts. She teaches at The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola @WmMorrowBooks #LoveinColor #BoluBabalola

#BookReview Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola @WmMorrowBooks #LoveinColor #BoluBabalola Title: Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold

Author: Bolu Babalola

Published by: William Morrow on Apr. 13, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: William Morrow

Book Rating: 8/10

A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen.

A young businesswoman attempts a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life.

A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether she should uphold her family’s politics or be true to her heart.

In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.

With an eye towards decolonizing tropes inherent in our favorite tales of love, Babalola has created captivating stories that traverse across perspectives, continents, and genres.


Review:

Uplifting, thought-provoking, and empowering!

Love in Color is an astute, beautiful collection of short stories that takes a variety of ancient folklore and tales and creatively reinvents them into contemporary love stories.

The writing is bold and colourful. The stories are imaginative, well written and romantic. And the plots, although slightly different, all feature strong, independent women and highlight the incredible power of love in all its forms.

Overall, Love in Color is a thoughtful, inspirational, perceptive anthology by Babalola that ultimately reminds us that to love and be loved is one of humanity’s most fundamental needs, or to quote Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic words, “Where there is love there is life.” 

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bolu Babalola

Bolu Babalola is a British-Nigerian woman with a misleading bachelor's degree in law and a masters degree in American Politics & History from UCL. She feels it is important to state that her thesis was on Beyoncé's "Lemonade" and she was awarded a distinction for it. So essentially she has a masters degree in Beyoncé. A writer of books, scripts and retorts, a lover of love and self-coined "romcomoisseur", Bolu Babalola writes stories of dynamic women with distinct voices who love and are loved audaciously. She is a big believer in women being both "Beauty and the beast". She is not a fan of writing her own bios.

Photo by Folaju Oyegbesan.

#BookReview I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin @LUAuthors @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #IThoughtYouSaidThisWouldWork #AnnGarvin #LakeUnion #OTRPR

#BookReview I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin @LUAuthors @AmazonPub @OverTheRiverPR #IThoughtYouSaidThisWouldWork #AnnGarvin #LakeUnion #OTRPR Title: I Thought You Said This Would Work

Author: Ann Garvin

Published by: Lake Union Publishing on May 1, 2021

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 302

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: OTRPR, Amazon Publishing

Book Rating: 8/10

A road trip can drive anyone over the edge—especially two former best friends—in bestselling author Ann Garvin’s funny and poignant novel about broken bonds, messy histories, and the power of forgiveness.

Widowed Samantha Arias hasn’t spoken to Holly Dunfee in forever. It’s for the best. Samantha prefers to avoid conflict. The blisteringly honest Holly craves it. What they still have in common puts them both back on speed dial: a mutual love for Katie, their best friend of twenty-five years, now hospitalized with cancer and needing one little errand from her old college roomies.

It’s simple: travel cross-country together, steal her loathsome ex-husband’s VW camper, find Katie’s diabetic Great Pyrenees at a Utah rescue, and drive him back home to Wisconsin. If it’ll make Katie happy, no favor is too big (one hundred pounds), too daunting (two thousand miles), or too illegal (ish), even when a boho D-list celebrity hitches a ride and drives the road trip in fresh directions.

Samantha and Holly are following every new turn—toward second chances, unexpected romance, and self-discovery—and finally blowing the dust off the secret that broke their friendship. On the open road, they’ll try to put it back together—for themselves, and especially for the love of Katie.


Review:

Humorous, heartwarming, and sweet!

I Thought You Said This Would Work is an optimistic, touching story that takes you into the lives of three old friends and one unexpectedly new one as they embark on a journey to steal a camper, rescue a dog, confront grievances from the past, meet new people, welcome new additions, and prepare for a heart-wrenching goodbye.

The writing style is sensitive and light. The characters are quirky, multilayered, and endearing. And the plot is a heartfelt, lovely mix of friendship, family, introspection, parenthood, support, forgiveness, love, loss, drama, taking chances, and moving on.

Overall, I Thought You Said This Would Work is a pensive, witty, heartfelt tale by Garvin that reminds us to always live life to the fullest and highlights the importance and power of female friendships.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to OTRPR and Amazon Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin, Ph.D. is the USA Today Bestselling author of I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie’s Watch. She teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin Continuing Education and Drexel University Masters of Fine Arts program and has held positions at Miami University and Southern New Hampshire in their Masters of Fine Arts program.
Ann is the founder of the Tall Poppy Writers where she is committed to helping women writers succeed. She is a sought-after speaker on writing, leadership and health and has taught extensively in NY, San Francisco, LA, Boston, and at festivals across the country.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #Jack&Bet #SarahButler

#BookReview Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler @PGCBooks @picadorbooks #Jack&Bet #SarahButler Title: Jack & Bet

Author: Sarah Butler

Published by: Picador on Apr. 13, 2021

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Even the longest marriages have their secrets . . .

Jack Chalmers is a man of few words, married to a woman of many. He and Bet have been together for seventy years – almost a lifetime – and happily so, for the most part.

All Jack and Bet want is to enjoy the time they have left together, in the flat they have tried to make their home. Their son Tommy has other ideas: he wants them to live somewhere with round-the-clock care, hot meals, activities. Bet thinks they can manage just fine.

When they strike up an unlikely friendship with Marinela, a young Romanian woman, Bet thinks she has found the perfect solution – one that could change Marinela’s life as well as theirs. But this means revisiting an old love affair, and confronting a long-buried secret she has kept hidden from everyone, even Jack, for many years.

Tender, moving and beautifully told, Sarah Butler’s Jack & Bet is an unforgettable novel about love and loss, the joys and regrets of a long marriage, and the struggle to find a place to call home.


Review:

Touching, sentimental, and bittersweet!

Jack & Bet is a heartwarming, affecting story that sweeps you away to London, England, and into a tale where long lives lived are pondered, a 70-year marriage is celebrated, friendships are developed and savoured, memories are cherished, secrets are unearthed, tears are shed, lives are remembered, and love is forged and shared.

The writing is smooth and heartfelt. The characters are sincere, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, hope, humour, nostalgia, drama, and emotion.

Jack & Bet is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, ageing, and finding happiness, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end, it left me smiling.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

               

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Butler

Sarah Butler is the acclaimed author of Ten Things I've Learnt About Love, Before the Fire and Jack & Bet. Her writing has been translated into fourteen languages. She is also the author of a novella, Not Home, written in conversation with people living in unsupported temporary accommodation. Sarah is a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Manchester with her family.

Photo courtesy of Pan MacMillan website.

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante

#BookReview The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante @EuropaEditions @PGCBooks #TheLyingLifeofAdults #ElenaFerrante Title: The Lying Life of Adults

Author: Elena Ferrante

Published by: Europa Editions on Sep. 1, 2020

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is.

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by TIME Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize-winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this new novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. In The Lying Life of Adults, readers will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.


Review:

Astute, honest, and sophisticated!

In this latest novel by Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults, she transports us to the streets of Naples, Italy and into the life of Giovanna, a young girl who after overhearing a harsh comment made by her father embarks on a journey to discover the extended family she has previously been sheltered and protected from resulting in unexpectedly enlightening consequences.

The prose is emotive and precise. The characters are complex, guileless, and impulsive. And the plot is a compelling, coming-of-age tale of life, love, deception, friendship, familial drama, manipulation, jealousy, emerging sexuality, abuse, and self-reflection.

Overall, The Lying Life of Adults is a raw, perceptive, heartfelt, domestic drama that does an exceptional job of reminding us that reality is often a disillusioned version of the life we conjure with the fantasies and lies we choose to believe, especially in young adulthood.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), which was made into a film directed by Roberto Faenza, Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), adapted by Mario Martone, and The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008), soon to be a major motion picture directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starring Oscar Award-winner Olivia Colman. She is also the author of Incidental Inventions (Europa, 2019), illustrated by Andrea Ucini, Frantumaglia: A Writer’s Journey (Europa, 2016) and The Beach at Night (Europa, 2016), illustrated by Mara Cerri. The four volumes known as the “Neapolitan quartet” (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) were published by Europa Editions in English between 2012 and 2015. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018. Her most recent novel is The Lying Life of Adults (Europa, 2020).

#BookReview Anxious People by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #AnxiousPeople #FredrikBackman

#BookReview Anxious People by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #AnxiousPeople #FredrikBackman Title: Anxious People

Author: Fredrik Backman

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 28, 2020

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

This is a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers slowly begin opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.


Review:

Thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and exceptionally witty!

Anxious People is a complex, insightful, funny story set on the day before New Year’s Eve that takes you on a journey into the lives of an amateur bank robber, eight unintended hostages, and two police officers with a history of their own.

The prose is amusing and poignant. The characterization is well-drawn with a whole slew of characters that are quirky, sympathetic, and endearing. And the plot is a delightfully clever blend of moral dilemmas, drama, tragedy, skewed perception, oddball shenanigans, relationship dynamics, unlikely friendships, and the importance of compassion.

Overall, Anxious People is an impactful, touching, darkly comedic tale by Backman that once again highlights his innate ability to delve into and expose both society’s weaknesses and ridiculous presumptions and humanities flaws and vulnerabilities in an enlightening, meaningful, and entertaining way.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

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